Friday, 10 May 2013

How to draw a portrait or face

Pastel portrait drawingHow to draw a portrait by studying the human face and proportions. 

I will give you some tips regarding how to draw a portrait by using a step-by-step measuring guide.  There are certain elements of the human face that can be used as guidelines when drawing portraits.

Different shapes for faces
Different face shapes
  


1.  Shape of the face

You should study and learn about the shape of the human face.  There are different shapes of faces for example; square, heart, oval, round, oblong and diamond.  The first thing you need to determine when you want to draw a portrait is which shape face your subject has and then draw that first.  The rest of the elements all follow. 

2.  The eyes

The face should be divided into four; one line vertically and the other horizontally.  The eyes go into the middle of the face on the horizontal line (I usually measure it so the line goes through the pupils).  One eye can fit into the width of the human face five times.  When you have drawn the shape of the face, there should be enough space for one eye to fit in between the eyes.  There should also be enough space for one eye to fit into each of the temple areas next to the eyes.  

The iris is in the middle of the eye and the pupil is in the middle of the iris.  The eyebrows will need to be drawn according to the expression of the subject but in most cases another eye should almost be able to fit in between the eye and eyebrow.  Learn how to draw eyes
Drawing of face with proportion measures
Figure 1

3.  The nose

The face is further divided into two between the half line where the eyes go and the bottom of the chin.  On this line is where the nose will go.  I measure it on the tip of the nose.  The width of the nose can be measured by drawing two imaginary lines from the inner part of the eyes down to the nose.  Learn how to draw a nose

4.  The mouth

The face is then further divided into two between the nose line and the chin and this line forms the line where the mouth goes.  Depending on the shape of your subjects face, whether it be long or round, the mouth may be a little above, - below or on the line.  The sides of the mouth can be measured by drawing an imaginary line from the inner part of both the irises down to the mouth. (see figure 1 for further details)  Learn how to draw a mouth

5.  The ears

The ears can be measured in line with the eyebrow's natural curve or with the top lid of the eye down to the tip of the nose.

6.  Neck

The width of the neck is measured in line with the outside lines of the irises.

7.  The hairline

The area above the eyes should be divided in two and a little above the top half is where most hairlines normally start.  But bare in mind that some people have a low hairline while others have a high hairline.  Learn how to draw hair

I hope you will use this guide when you draw portraits in the future and that you will find it useful. i found it extremely useful to know this because I have tested it and these calculations apply to everyone.